Volunteering Reviews

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teaching English and computer classes and doing online work

Organisation: IHF
Date: 14 October 2013

Activity:
My name is Sina, and I am a psychologist from Germany. I was interested in volunteering for many reasons, but mainly I was searching for an opportunity to be part of a great social project and to get to know the Indonesian way of live and the culture of the people at the same time-that’s when I found the International Humanity Foundation online. Therefore I decided to go to the IHF Center at Bali to do voluntary work as an English and Computer teacher in 4 classes and to do online work e.g. for the Fundraising and Media team for 4 weeks.

The IHF Center itself is a beautiful Balinese-style house by the Indian Ocean nearby a Muslim and a Hindu village with a big green garden with water fountains and 4 big classrooms plus a separate guesthouse for the volunteers. When I taught my first lesson in English I got a warm and pleasant welcome and the great opportunity to learn my first Indonesian words from my pupils: “Saya Sina! Umur saya 25.” Which means that my name is Sina and that I am 25 years old :) It really was an amazing experience to meet the pupils and they are very open-minded and inquisitive.

And whether you’ve had experience with volunteering or not, since the day I arrived, I felt that joining IHF was the best choice and I love the work and especially the wonderful and lovely Indonesian children - I have enjoyed every minute of it.

I am really deeply touched by the passion of the other volunteers and the co-ordinator here at the Center- everyone is working so hart to relieve poverty and cares about every single child! I am so grateful for all those nice people I got to know here during the last couple of weeks and of my new experiences and impressions which changed my way of seeing life and what is really important to me!

Comments:
Help and advice
Made a difference
Would do again

teacher for English and Computer classes and online task

Organisation: IHF
Date: 14 October 2013

Activity:
My name is Sina, and I am a psychologist from Germany. I was interested in volunteering for many reasons, but mainly I was searching for an opportunity to be part of a great social project and to get to know the Indonesian way of live and the culture of the people at the same time-that’s when I found the International Humanity Foundation online. Therefore I decided to go to the IHF Center at Bali to do voluntary work as an English and Computer teacher in 4 classes and to do online work e.g. for the Fundraising and Media team for 4 weeks.

The IHF Center itself is a beautiful Balinese-style house by the Indian Ocean nearby a Muslim and a Hindu village with a big green garden with water fountains and 4 big classrooms plus a separate guesthouse for the volunteers. When I taught my first lesson in English I got a warm and pleasant welcome and the great opportunity to learn my first Indonesian words from my pupils: “Saya Sina! Umur saya 25.” Which means that my name is Sina and that I am 25 years old :) It really was an amazing experience to meet the pupils and they are very open-minded and inquisitive.

And whether you’ve had experience with volunteering or not, since the day I arrived, I felt that joining IHF was the best choice and I love the work and especially the wonderful and lovely Indonesian children - I have enjoyed every minute of it.

I am really deeply touched by the passion of the other volunteers and the co-ordinator here at the Center- everyone is working so hart to relieve poverty and cares about every single child! I am so grateful for all those nice people I got to know here during the last couple of weeks and of my new experiences and impressions which changed my way of seeing life and what is really important to me!

Comments:
Help and advice
Made a difference
Would do again

Work Study Volunteer

Organisation: IHF
Date: 2 October 2013

Activity:
Taught children English and contributed to the online teams.
Comments:
...there aren’t many words to express the feeling of satisfaction and awe when a child learns something as simple as the days of the week...

A Challenge and a Change: Volunteering for IHF Bali

Volunteering at IHF Bali has been everything I thought and hoped it would be. The center and the accommodation have a beautiful, rustic and traditional charm which makes me feel like a heroine in a novel pursuing some exotic, bohemian dream. The children are as gorgeous and exuberant as you would imagine Balinese children to be. Some days, when I am doing yoga for example on my balcony overlooking rice fields, I have to pinch myself to believe I am here, fulfilling my aspirations to help those who are less fortunate and in turn get to experience a beautiful, amiable and endearing culture.

The work has been a challenge, but a very much welcomed and enjoyable challenge; I think most volunteers would agree. Coming from the UK as a qualified teacher, I felt that I’d been stretched to my professional capacity. I was becoming complacent with my career and in turn a little bit bored and this spurred me to look for volunteer work abroad where I could learn new skills and where I would be challenged both professionally and personally. Teaching English as a foreign language at IHF Bali has been the change and challenge I needed. I’ve had to re-evaluate my classroom management skills, my resources and, above all, my linguistic skills.

Volunteering or teaching abroad is not something to be afraid of because, whether you’ve had experience in teaching or not, once you are here you will love the work, the children and the whole experience. For example, there aren’t many words to express the feeling of satisfaction and awe when a child learns something as simple as the days of the week and how to tell the time in English; or the feeling of wonder when you see a Balinese beach for the first time; or the contentment you feel when you know you would usually be at home on a wet morning moaning about the drudgery of your normal working day.

I’ve also had the experience of working within the online dimension of the charity where I’ve seen the hard work that other volunteers and center directors invest in order to recruit volunteers, promote the charity and generally uphold the charity’s ethos. This aspect has been a challenge. However, to experience the time, effort and zest that other volunteers invest in the charity has been truly inspirational; I have seen for myself, first hand, the compassion in humanity and the lengths people go to on their own and as part of a team for a cause like IHF. There is very much a ‘can do’ attitude which I think we could all do with a dose of to improve our outlook on life. And above all, IHF’s ‘pass in on’ philosophy has been a wonderful breath of fresh air; it very much coincides with the fundamental principle that governs my life: be the change you want to see in the world.

Volunteering abroad for IHF has been the flight and change that I needed to feel like I am experiencing life’s incredible, kaleidoscopic journey; and to have this experience whilst helping those less fortunate is priceless.

Help and advice
Made a difference
Would do again

Mentor

Organisation: The November Project
Date: 30 September 2013

Activity:
Mentor the MD of a start up social enterprise in the renewable energy sector
Comments:
Would I be interested in mentoring the MD of a start up social enterprise in the renewable energy sector -based on a barge moored mid Thames opposite Parliament. Seriously you had to ask? From the very first meeting it was clear that this was something I could contribute to and more importantly something I totally believed in. The mentoring relationship developed quickly and easily. Goals along the timeline have been met - there have been setbacks - no initiative leads that charmed a life - but the momentum to establish the project and bring tidal power to the heart of London is unstoppable. Whilst I'm new to the renewable energy sector my years of experience developing services and organisations meant that I had a wealth of examples to draw from and use. It took a while for me to get a mentee to mentor but the wait and the experience have is been worth it
Help and advice
Made a difference
Would do again

Assistant to a Reserve Warden

Organisation: RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds)
Date: 23 September 2013

Activity:
Worked primarily with the other volunteers to maintain the

vegetation on the reserve which was basically hard physical labour but great fun and character building. I was with a group of young men and the only woman but I was always treated with great respect and care.

Also some administerial duties and team building excercises. It also was a very precious experience for my ornithological identification skills!
Comments:
I enjoyed my two weeks working on the RSPB Leighton Moss in Lancashire immensely as i was immersed in the local wildlife and working outside but also with really inspiring people passionate about birds and it was certainly not a holiday! I was totally exhausted but physically fit so was not a problem.
Help and advice
Made a difference
Would do again

work-study volunteer in Thailand

Organisation: IHF
Date: 28 August 2013

Activity:
cooking, cleaning, picking up the children, online work, teaching, donation
Comments:
I’m the work study volunteer in Chiang Rai, Thailand for three weeks, and I very enjoy the time that I stay in here! Children are very friendly, active and creative. Although, the things I did every day are similar like cooking, picking up the children and cleaning, I don’t feel boring. Children always bring something new to you. I have more understandings about life by accompanying with children. We look like a big family. Now, I just have one week left, I think I’ll back to see them some day.
Help and advice
Made a difference
Would do again

Digitall Mentoring

Organisation: TimeBank
Date: 22 August 2013

Activity:
Digitall brings together young people aged 18- 25 who are willing to share their knowledge and experience of using the computers and the internet with people aged over 45 who are interested in getting to grips with new technology. Young people act as mentors, supporting their mentee on a one-to-one basis to achieve their digital goals.

By bringing together people of different ages and experiences we hope to promote a better understanding between the generations and enable people from all backgrounds and ages to access the opportunities offered by new technology and the Internet.
Comments:
I work more than 5 years with computers with web development. I'd like to help people and learning too with this people. thanks
Help and advice
Made a difference
Would do again

Work Study

Organisation: IHF
Date: 19 August 2013

Activity:
I vounteered at the Nakuru, Kenya center.
Comments:
My name is Kevin, and I am a work study volunteer at the Nakuru center. I have been volunteering at the center for the last month. I was interested in volunteering for many reasons. First, for a long time, I have had an interest in learning more about Africa. My major in school is international studies, with a focus on Africa and the Middle East. After learning about the work that IHF conducts, I knew this would be a worthwhile internship, and indeed it has been. The directors at the center are wonderful. They truly care about the kids, and work very hard to ensure that the kids are not only well taken care of, but that they also have access to school and health care. The directors work with the local community to build political and economic relationships that will continue to help the children and the center as a whole. I have assisted in this process, and it has been a wonderful opportunity. I have learned many things, including the difficulty and exhaustiveness of running an NGO, and how important it is to build rapport with local leaders. I will remember fondly my time with IHF Nakuru.
Help and advice
Made a difference
Would do again

Digitall Mentoring

Organisation: TimeBank
Date: 19 August 2013

Activity:
Digitall brings together young people aged 18- 25 who are willing to share their knowledge and experience of using the computers and the internet with people aged over 45 who are interested in getting to grips with new technology. Young people act as mentors, supporting their mentee on a one-to-one basis to achieve their digital goals.

By bringing together people of different ages and experiences we hope to promote a better understanding between the generations and enable people from all backgrounds and ages to access the opportunities offered by new technology and the Internet.
Comments:
Help and advice
Made a difference
Would do again

work study volunteer

Organisation: International+Humanity+Foundation
Date: 14 August 2013

Activity:
Teaching English to kids from 6 to 17 yearsr old.

Complete daily online international tasks with four teams: university relations, volunteer recruitment, media, and fundraising.
Comments:
I learnt about International Humanity Foundation online. From a background of economics in college, I chose to come to a Southeast Asian country – Indonesia - to see the difficulty and potential of the economic and social development in one of the poorest places, and Bali in particular because I was interested in the huge economic inequality on an island thriving with tourism and traveler-oriented services - so far, Bali and IHF have delivered all my expectations.

Living in a small Indonesian village proved to be even more difficult than I thought. The level of underdevelopment is far worse than anything I have ever experienced. I have complained about the inconvenient living conditions and the often malfunctioning wifi. I have biked up the mountains on a recruitment trip and seen for myself the kind of mistrust the locals have in a US-based NGO like us. I have been constantly surprised by the local kids’ excitement upon seeing a foreigner and their lovely ‘hello’s and ‘good morning’s.

Volunteers at IHF Bali started an art project to decorate the center. We asked the kids to draw the ‘IHF hand’ on a piece of paper, write down their names and decorate the drawing as they wish. The kids dived right into it and created many remarkable drawings. Their creativity and imagination surprised me. Moreover, I was pleased to witness their excitement over such a small art project. Every day after the English classes, most volunteers complain about how hard it is to discipline the small kids and get them to focus on the class material. We college students are used to sitting in a lecture hall, staying concentrated for couple of hours and taking in as much information as we can. However we forgot that it is more important to encourage creativity in children. Many of them may not be good at following instructions, especially after a full school day, but they are eager for opportunities to show their individuality. In a collectivist country like Indonesia with strict cultural and religious constraints on personal choices, the small projects we create might give the kids the best moment in their day.

More than everything, I am deeply touched by some kids’ eager for knowledge and passion for English learning under an incomplete and shockingly corrupt public education system. This makes me realize that the free education provided by IHF Bali is working against the social norm and that we have a long way to go to prove our legitimacy and credibility. When we talk about NGOs and volunteering work in the US and other developed nations, we focus on the generosity of the donors and the sophisticated process of recruiting qualified volunteers, yet we have often forgotten the importance of reaching out to the locals and working our way best into the cultural and religious traditions in the area we work in. These traditions, however little merit they may have, are far more powerful in a country like Indonesia than our optimistic western ideology of free education, democracy, equality, and individual merits.

Many NGOs like IHF are great international efforts to relieve poverty and provide education opportunities, nevertheless we all need to realize that the overarching goal of our work is to serve the ‘local’ community, to benefit the ‘locals’, and through a long and hard time to influence the ‘local’ values in a positive way. And this is the hard part: to establish our trustworthiness in a remote Indonesian village and to get them to welcome our good intentions, however unrealistic they might seem to an Indonesian person. I am yet to reach this goal, but this one month experience at IHF Bali has definitely made the picture clear to me. I am grateful to have had this opportunity.

Help and advice
Made a difference
Would do again